DNA testing order

The New South Wales Supreme Court has considered a request for DNA testing to determine the paternity of a child in Attorney-General in and for the State of New South Wales; ex parte Thomas Hollins [2016] NSWSC 622.

The child was born in Prague, Croatia. The child’s mother commenced a paternity suit against Mr Hollins (who lives in New South Wales) in the District Court in Prague. The District Court made a request for judicial assistance pursuant to the Hague Convention of 18 March on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters.

In the judgment delivered on 10 May 2016, Mr Hollins was ordered to provide DNA samples for testing. The judge cited Mr Hollins’ refusal to pay child support on the grounds that he did not believe he was the child’s father and the public policy interest that children should be able to know who their father is.

To view the judgment, click here.

To view our previous article on Victorian donor law, click here.

Lawyers for allegedly negligent doctor withheld evidence

Lawyers acting for a surgeon defending a medical negligence claim have been accused of potentially breaching their duty to act honestly and to avoid misleading the Court. The claim arose following a series of operations carried out by the surgeon for a knee ligament injury which resulted in serious complications including a bacterial infection.

The lawyers for the surgeon had sourced three expert reports in support of their defence; however, the expert subsequently wrote a fourth report expressing a contrary view to the earlier reports. The fourth report was not served until one day before the trial, despite being in the lawyers’ possession for almost two years.

Associate Justice Mossop found that the surgeon’s lawyers misled the Court and the other parties to the proceeding by creating the impression that the failure to serve the report was the result of an oversight rather than a deliberate decision.

An order was made to grant the plaintiff access to communications of the surgeon’s lawyers.


AHPRA prosecutes former doctor

An owner and practice manager of an Armadale cosmetic treatment clinic pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to a charge of recklessly holding themselves out as a registered medical practitioner (under section 116(1)(c) of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law) for almost a year during 2014 and 2015.

The owner and practice manager was formerly a doctor but surrendered their registration in 2010.

The former doctor was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay the prosecution’s costs of $35,000 and to provide an undertaking of good behaviour for two-and-a-half years. They were sentenced without conviction on the basis that they had retrained as a lawyer and a conviction may have a negative impact on their chance of attaining admission to the legal profession.

The current registration status of all of Australia’s registered health practitioners is published on the Register of Practitioners. If a person’s name does not appear on the Register, they are not registered to practise in a regulated health profession in Australia. The Medical Board of Australia has recently issued guidelines for medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures, which will take effect on 1 October 2016.

To view the guidelines, click here.

To view the media release, click here.